Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh Human Race!

In high school, while taking a sociology class my senior year, a study fascinated me so much that in college I took more Psych and sociology classes so I could better understand Human idiots.
To provide a background of understanding to those that don't know me:: I was never in the IN crowd. I was always a little outside the circles of cliques. I was younger than all my peers and at the same time more mature than most of them due to my life experiences.
Also, My mom told me 2 very important things when I was younger::

#1 That if there is something I didn't want do to, Blame her.
#2 There are leaders and followers. Why be a follower?

So, I was used to not conforming, and once I hit high school I made it an art form. I am not talking tattoo, underage drinking and craziness, I just didn't do that stuff because everyone else was. Because they were doing it was not a valid reason to do something for me. In fact, my response to those pressuring me became "I don't give in to peer pressure."
Yeah, that usually made people back off. :-)

So when I stumbled on to this article on my new favorite place to find crazy online, MSNBC, I just have to write about it.

Here is the story: Shocking? Most will torture if ordered.
I recommend that EVERYONE who reads this blog- read the whole article. You should understand the mental pressure to conform is enormous. Also, take time to read about the cliff notes version of the original experiment too. So, learn from it, don't be a moron.

Some things never change. Scientists said on Friday they had replicated an experiment in which people obediently delivered painful shocks to others if encouraged to do so by authority figures.

Seventy percent of volunteers continued to administer electrical shocks — or at least they believed they were doing so — even after an actor claimed they were painful, Jerry Burger of Santa Clara University in California found. The obedience rates in the new study were only slightly statistically lower than in the notorious original experiments, which were conducted in the early 1960s by Yale University professor Stanley Milgram.

Seventy Percent!!??? Stop being SHEEP people! You have a brain. USE IT.

Burger modified the experiment, by stopping at the 150 volt point for the 29 men and 41 women in his experiment. He measured how many of his volunteers began to deliver another shock when prompted by the experiment's leader — but instead of letting them do so, stopped them.
In Burger's modified experiment, 70 percent of the volunteers were willing to give shocks greater than 150 volts.

Hey you-- Human race! Your disappointing me here.

At one point, researchers brought in a volunteer who knew what was going on and refused to administer shocks beyond 150 volts. Despite the example, 63 percent of the participants continued administering shocks past 150 volts.
Even with an example of non-conformity.... you still have the BAAAA factor going on.

Milgram created a documentary film titled Obedience showing the experiment and its results. He also produced a series of five social psychology films, some of which dealt with his experiments. It was these films that fascinated me so. In college, I actually got to watch them in class. I was appalled at how easily a simple statement would get most to continue after being assured that they would not be held responsible or other things like "please continue" in the original version.

So there is my serious side. Don't be a sheep. Think about your personal morals before you just do whatever it is someone tells you too. If your pressing a button and its hurting someone, You ARE responsible. I wish some one had told the researcher to push the button instead. Damn sheep.

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